Food Export – Country Profile: Vietnam

See what export opportunities lie in Vietnam for U.S. suppliers in our latest Country Profile blog!


Market Overview  

Vietnam is a major importer of U.S. food and agricultural products.  All U.S. agricultural exports to the market totaled $4 Billion in 2018 with processed foods totaling $628 million and consumer food products totaling $980 million, a new record high.  Vietnam is the 2nd largest U.S. export market for consumer food products in Southeast Asia after the Philippines. 

Some of the top processed food exports to Vietnam include: food preparation, processed/prepared dairy products, distilled spirits and other alcoholic beverages, non-alcoholic beverages, prepared/preserved seafood, processed vegetables and pulse, chocolate and confectionery, syrups and sweeteners, processed fruit. 

At this time the U.S. does not have a Free-Trade Agreement with Vietnam.  

Vietnam USDA


Learn more about the Vietnamese market with these recently updated GAIN reports from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) 

Vietnam: FAIRS Country Report 

Vietnam: FAIRS Export Certificate Report 

Vietnam: Exporter Guide 

Retail Sector 

Vietnam’s food retail sector is still dominated by small traditional traders, but modern retail channels are expanding in response to growing consumer demand and competition in the modern retail food sector. Existing modern retail food chains have gradually enlarged their market share by expanding their distribution networks in first and second tier cities and provinces across the country. Mini-supermarkets, supermarkets with selling space of less than 500 sq meters, have become increasingly popular.  

The demand for healthier food options is on the rise in Vietnam as in many other international markets.  Many consumers in urban areas are willing to switch to these products despite higher prices in order to reduce the amount of pesticides and chemicals that they consume. To cater to this trend, most supermarkets have dedicated areas for these products, with clear labelling and decoration to attract consumer attention. 

Preference for private label products has increased over the last few years and is expected to continue growing.  Private label products span many different categories, including fresh vegetables, home care, and apparel.   

Learn more about the Vietnamese retail market with this recently updated GAIN reports from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

Vietnam: Retail Foods 

Food Service Sector 

Rising disposable income, urbanization, government policies encouraging market liberalization, changing consumer preferences, and growth in the tourism sector have all contributed to strong growth in the HRI food service sector making Vietnam an attractive market for U.S. consumer-oriented food and agricultural products.  

Vietnamese consumers are becoming more interested in Western cuisine and there are even local restaurants designed in the Western style. International and local tourists in Vietnam seek out food service outlets that can offer higher quality food items as well as sophisticated menus and cuisines from different parts of the world. 

Food Service

The best export prospects for U.S. consumer-oriented agricultural products include: dairy products, chilled & frozen beef products, frozen poultry, dried fruit and nuts, packaged foods (canned fruit & vegetables, canned meat), condiments and sauces, juices, seafood, alcoholic drinks (wine, beer, and spirits) 

Learn more about the Vietnamese food service market with this recently updated GAIN reports from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

Vietnam: Food Service – Hotel Restaurant Institutional 

Food Processing Sector 

The food and beverage processing sector in Vietnam has experienced strong growth in the past few years.  Progress in food technology, marketing innovations, growing domestic demand, and exports of processed food have all contributed to Vietnam’s increasing demand for food ingredients.  Processed food product sales are a major focus in the domestic market for the retail and food service sectors.  Market demand is growing, but so is competition with reduced and eliminated tariffs for Vietnam’s many free trade agreement partners.  

Food processors in Vietnam use both locally produced raw materials and imported food ingredients in their operations.  Large processors tend to directly import specific ingredients, such as wheat flour, milk powder, and malt. Processors usually purchase minor ingredients, additives, flavors, or preservatives through importers or distributors.  

Food Processing

Of U.S. products that are already present in the Vietnamese market, soybeans, fish products, tree nuts (almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and hazelnuts), dairy products, soy flour, poultry meat and products, beef and beef products, fresh fruits (apples, cherries, table grapes and, pears), prepared food, processed fruit, and non-alcoholic beverage (excluding juices) continue to have good sales potential in Vietnam. 

Learn more about the Vietnamese food processing market with this recently updated GAIN reports from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS). 

Vietnam: Food Processing Ingredients 


Market Builder & Virtual Consultation 

Learn more about the potential of your products in the Vietnamese market with two of our Market Entry Activities below.  

Our Market Builder program provides detailed and customized market research for you and your product to help your company uncover potential in international markets! 

Vietnam Market Builder 

Market Builder Vietnam

Virtual Consultations are a 30-minute one-on-one video consultation with one of our In-Market Representatives. These sessions are meant to help you explore questions related to export plans and market expansion. 

Vietnam Virtual Consultation  

Virtual Consultation Vietnam

Upcoming Activities 

Explore the Vietnamese market with Food Export as your guide!  See the activities we have planned in the market for our 2020 Program Year below. 

Focused Trade Mission to Vietnam  
August 13 – 14, 2020 (back to back mission with China) 

FTM to Vietnam and China

Feed Show PLUS! at Ildex Vietnam 2020  
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – March 17-20, 2020 

Ildex Vietnam

Food Show PLUS! at Food & Hotel 
Hanoi, Vietnam – November 24 – 27, 2020 

Food & Hotel Hanoi